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A great start


Two solid wins for the Spar Proteas ahead of lastnight's clash against World No 2 side Jamaica

A TON OF EXPERIENCE: Bongi Msomi, captain of the Proteas takes to court for her 100th match during the Vitality Netball World Cup match against Fiji on Saturday night. Picture: Supplied

The SPAR Proteas went into their second game of the Vitality Netball World Cup on Saturday beaming with great confidence as they faced the islanders Fiji. South Africa trounced Fiji 90-35 making it two wins out of two games played.

Proteas head coach Norma Plummer brought four changes from the team that played the opener, beating Trinidad and Tobago 76-45 the day before.

The team got off to a great start on Saturday taking an 8-1 lead within the first five minutes after starting like a house on fire and they continued to take the game to Fiji from the start and dominated for the better part of the quarter.

The attacking duo of Stoltz and Potgieter was red hot with Potgieter’s conversion rate at 94 percent and Stoltz at 88 percent. At the end of the first quarter, South Africa had carved out a 24-9 lead.

Captain Msomi who earned her 100th cap for South Africa was also another great player in the middle of the court, her impressive contribution was pivotal. She was an inspiration and a driving force for the team with her accurate, quick passes giving her teammates good chances to score.

At the start of the second quarter, Fiji attempted to take the game to South Africa; however, the Proteas were very quick to counter them and stamped their authority on the match. They continued with their dominance throughout the second quarter, leaving the half-time score 47-19.

The beginning of the third quarter saw some substitutions but South Africa’s dominance continued, and they extended their lead to 67-25 at the end of the quarter. Fiji really struggled to get into gear as they only managed to score nine points through the quarter.

In what seemed to be their last throw of the dice Fiji took the game to South Africa at the start of the final quarter, and challenged the Proteas for every single ball. However, basic errors worked against them in the end. South Africa’s quick interchange passing proved to be the difference in the final quarter as the Proteas cruised home 90-35.

The Proteas head coach said she was very happy with how the team played.

“I am delighted with the performance of the team; I mean we had to make four changes from the team that played yesterday (Friday). It really didn’t look like we had changed the team as the girls played like a well-oiled machine.

“The victory against Fiji is a good morale-booster for the team as we head into our final group stage match against Jamaica.

“Our opponents really gave us a run for our money, and we needed that and I am also happy for the captain Bongi for her 100th Test today for the Proteas.”

The match against Jamaica was in progress at the time of going to press last night.

Centurion Msomi said that she had been so pumped for the competition the landmark had almost slipped her mind.

“I had completely forgotten that this is my 100th cap until we got to the team room for our meeting. This really caught me by surprise, I am very happy for this milestone and extremely happy that it came with a win tonight (Saturday).

“Ultimately this has been about the team for me since day one and I am proud that we are here today,” said the Proteas captain.

The total of over 90 goals is the highest score so far at NWC2019 and South Africa’s second-highest World Cup score ever, only eclipsed by their 110 goals at the 1995 Netball World Cup in Birmingham against the Cayman Islands.